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Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL-Equity One Inc. is putting seven shopping centers, including five in South Florida, into its existing joint venture with Global Retail Investors LLC in a transaction valued at $197.4 million. Equity One expects to realize net proceeds of $129.8 million from the transaction while retaining 10% ownership in the properties.

Proceeds from the transfer will be used for various corporate purposes such as existing development and redevelopment projects, decreasing leverage, and to fund opportunistic acquisitions, according to a press release. Equity One will continue to lease and manage all seven properties, a company spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com.

“This transaction allows us to add critical mass to our asset-management platform, recycle capital at attractive prices and strengthen our balance sheet while, at the same time, managing and maintaining an ownership stake in seven great properties,” Jeff Olsen, Equity One CEO, stated in the release.

The largest of the Florida properties transferred is Concord Shopping Center in Miami, which has 298,986 sf and is anchored by Winn-Dixie and Home Depot. Two Publix-anchored centers, the 73,550-sf Shoppes at Quail Roost in Miami and the 79,420-sf Shoppes of Ibis in West Palm Beach, are part of the deal as are the two-parcel Shoppes of Sunset in Miami, each with 21,704 sf and 27,767 sf.

Two other Southeastern properties will be contributed to the joint venture following defeasance or assumption of existing mortgage debt: the 396,408-sf Presidential Marketplace in Snellville, GA, and the 339,051-sf Sparkleberry Square in Columbia, SC.

Equity One, which owns and has interests in 152 shopping centers totaling 17.1 million sf, entered the joint venture in February with Global Retail, which itself was formed by an affiliate of First Washington Realty Inc. and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to invest in shopping centers nationwide. Its first transaction involved Airpark Plaza in Miami and will total 1.4 million sf combining the other seven properties.

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